Marketing is just too important to be an isolated function

A woman stands at a board while discussing what is written on post-it notes as people sitting around a desk listen to her.
A woman stands at a board while discussing what is written on post-it notes as people sitting around a desk listen to her.
Photo by Leon on Unsplash

CMOs are being replaced and renamed as chief customer officers, chief revenue officers, chief strategy officers, and chief growth officers. Marketing is no longer being siloed as a separate function, but instead integrated more closely into areas such as sales, product, technology, and operations.

This past year, companies including Uber, Johnson & Johnson, and Taco Bell have eliminated the CMO position. Marketing is just too important to be an isolated function.

So, how will marketing agencies operate in this new environment and sell their expertise to very different types of teams?

To succeed in this new world, the way forward…


Words of wisdom for my daughters

Zaya & Azalyn, embrace the journey of life. Open your heart and see the world through other’s eyes. There is much to learn. And when you are bigger, you will move mountains.

Dream big little princess.

Each day there is a canvas ready to be painted.

Live, learn, pass on.

Find the intersection of what you’re good at, what you enjoy, what the world needs, and what the world values.

Practice makes progress, not perfection.

There are no failures or losses, only lessons.

Aim high to succeed low.

Don’t whine. Shine.

Don’t talk about it. Be about it. …


If you are looking for a toolkit to start a cannabis business this isn’t it, but it definitely can help.

Photo by Luis Tosta on Unsplash

My early startup experience taught me more than an education ever could. I learned more about myself, about the world of venture capital and entrepreneurship and developing a profitable and defensible product or service.

I also learned that starting a business is tough. It’s even more difficult when you don’t have the right startup resources, to do what needs to be done in time. You’re moving quickly, learning new things as you go. …


I still remember the day I fully committed to moving on from my first startup, MoPix.

As a third culture kid who grew up in Senegal, Nepal & Indonesia it was only fitting that I arrived at the final aurora of my startup while sitting on an airplane, returning home to Los Angeles on a flight from Portland; dejected, overwhelmed and with barely any money in our startup bank account.

Staring out the window I found myself having a panic attack. I had tried to be the duck calmly swimming above water that everyone sees while I kick like crazy…


My young startup adventures told through the advice I wish I could have given my pre-startup self.

Dear Ryan, you will fail. Failure is not the end.

A little hardship, some challenges, some deprivation. You can overcome it all, even if just to prove to yourself that you can. Failure is painful and humbling. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Letting your kids hear stories about how you put a little skin in the game may build the optimism and courage they need to take some risks themselves. Embrace the journey of learning something new and dedicating yourself to the challenge of building something of value to the world. …


Parenting is hard work. It’s emotional work. It may be the hardest work we’ll ever do. Small stresses keep on mounting, but we keep them bottled up. Alas, the feelings pour out and on those days when we are so overwhelmed with life we just break down — physically and emotionally.

But in the end we are happy. Being a parent is fantastic. There is nothing better in the world.

Which is why I am constantly seeking the best tools, resources, and learnings to raise my daughters — Zaya & Azalyn. I want to give my children the best to…


Building a valuable brand should be your first startup growth hack.

I’ve previously written about the importance of crafting a quality brand story for your business. If you want to see true success in your company, you need to grab the attention of consumers and help them invest in your brand’s story. It’s time to focus on the long-game and future goals for bringing the most value to your customers instead of focusing on short-term growth goals or focusing on quick growth tactics.

The problem with how most companies do brand stories

We’ve talked brand stories to death. Every company knows it’s important to have one. So then, why do so…


Identifying Your Best Customers

As a strategist, my goal has always been to know my customer and extract what “must-haves” matters to them. This means:

  • Search for real audience insights and opportunities to ensure all is known about the customer, brand, category, project, et cetera.
  • Understand what makes this opportunity different, special or competitive (capitalizing on competitor weaknesses.)
  • Once those insights have been identified turn the ideas around them into solutions: Marrying insights to a genuine product or brand truths and help to explain and clarify the logic of where we are going and why it matters in order to encourage customers to tell…


During my startup days I have personally been in situations where I have lost deals ONLY because I was unable to create the right value proposition for the audience. And I have met many startups who suck at storytelling. They might have a compelling product/ service, but haven’t figured out a compelling story for how their product will change the world! The difference comes down to branding and storytelling.

I’ve learned that startups that reach their target customers with the best messaging, building the most effective brands, will win. Storytelling is the difference and essential to brand success. We build…


Build an always-on content factory to boost engagement at all stages of the customer journey

The world is being consumed by content, and we’ve only seen the beginning. Everything in our daily lives has a surplus of content around it. Millions of events occur worldwide each year — conferences, trade shows, business expos, concerts, weddings, sports games. And we are all capturing video and photos at each and every one of them.

Because we all have a high-definition video camera in our pocket now, we can all capture the moments of our lives that are important to us and tell whatever stories we’d like. One-hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Facebook…

Ryan Stoner

Advertising Executive Head of Strategy & Startup Founder. Family, fitness, travel, startups, marketing, and adventures pretty much summarize my passions.

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